Bronwyn Oliveira, Brand Manager of Maxi’s, a franchise of nationwide family restaurants that forms part of the Taste Holdings group, stresses the importance of hiring a good manager for your franchise.
Once your training has been completed and your franchise is almost up and running, you need to find the perfect manager, keeping in mind that the person you employ will influence the success of your business.
The restaurant manager will oversee the day-to-day operations of your franchise and will be responsible for everything from managing employees to ensuring quality control to dealing with customers and handling finances. When choosing a franchise manager, ask yourself the following question to see if you will be satisfied with your decision, “If I suddenly fall ill and can’t be at work for an extended period of time, will I feel at ease knowing that my business is solely in the hands of my manager? Will my manager be able to keep my franchise afloat while I am not there?”
If you’re not certain that your manager will be able to manage effectively in your absence, consider the following before employing him or her:
- Eliminate applicants who do not meet your expectations in terms of qualifications and professional experience.
- Once you have completed the first set of eliminations, contact the qualified applicants by phone and schedule interviews with them. Take the time during this brief conversation to listen carefully, taking note of vocabulary and speech mannerisms as this person might be speaking to your customers and staff.
- While you are conducting the interviews with the applicants, take note of their body language, manners and speech habits. People who project a confident and polite personality are likely to be successful employees. Ask questions about education and experience and write down or record (with their permission) all the answers. Ask questions such as:
- “What makes a good manager?” which will help you to determine their management style.
- “Give me an example of a major problem you had to solve with your company, how it was resolved and what the results and outcomes were,” to get an understanding of the candidate’s problem solving skills.
- Next, create a problem or issue that might occur within your business, then ask each applicant to provide a potential solution to the problem.
- Ask the applicant what the three most important results he or she has achieved in business this past year to clarify strategic thinking processes.
- Enquire what he or she has done to improve their restaurant manager knowledge and skill in the last year to get an understanding of their flexibility and approach to learning.
- Ask applicants about short-term and long-term goals to establish the longevity of their appointment.
- Ask them to list their strengths and weaknesses, salary requirements, and family commitments as being a restaurant manager involves long and irregular hours.
- After interviewing the selected applicants, review the notes from each interview. Eliminate the weakest candidates and narrow the selection to the strongest three people based on qualifications, interview results and personal impressions.
- Call all the references of the final applicants to verify their information supplied, such as employment dates and job titles. Enquire about the applicant’s job duties, promotions and strengths, and about problem areas such as absenteeism or punctuality. Eliminate applicants if negative information surfaces from the references.
- Evaluate the remaining applicants before making a final hiring decision.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that at first you will need to show your new manager the ropes, how you like things done and how you expect him or her to interact with your customers, staff and suppliers. It may take a few days or even a few weeks for your manager to understand your management approach, but once he or she has settled in, you should both be well on your way to climbing the career ladder to succeed as a franchisee or a restaurant manager.
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